Race day at Pocono starts with qualifying in unfamiliar Cup format

By Kyle Magda - For Times Leader | July 29th, 2017 10:48 pm

Camping World Truck

Overton’s 150

At Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, Pa.

Lap length: 2.5 miles

1. (3) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 60.

2. (1) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 60.

3. (4) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 60.

4. (6) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 60.

5. (7) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 60.

6. (9) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 60.

7. (17) Austin Cindric, Ford, 60.

8. (13) Cody Coughlin, Toyota, 60.

9. (5) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 60.

10. (14) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 60.

11. (10) Austin Hill, Ford, 60.

12. (15) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 60.

13. (12) Grant Enfinger, Toyota, 60.

14. (16) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 60.

15. (30) Justin Fontaine, Toyota, 60.

16. (21) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 60.

17. (18) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 60.

18. (28) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 60.

19. (20) Todd Peck, Chevrolet, 60.

20. (22) Wendell Chavous, Chevrolet, 59.

21. (24) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 59.

22. (27) Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, 56.

23. (11) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, Accident, 42.

24. (8) Noah Gragson, Toyota, Accident, 39.

25. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Accident, 36.

26. (25) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, Vibration, 23.

27. (19) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 6.

28. (23) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Electrical, 4.

29. (26) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Vibration, 3.

30. (29) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Steering, 2.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 121.594 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 14 Minutes, 1 Second. Margin of Victory: 1.964 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 15 laps.

Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Rhodes 0; K.Busch 1-32; J.Sauter 33-44; Joh.Nemechek 45-53; C.Bell 54-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): K.Busch, 1 time for 31 laps; J.Sauter, 1 time for 11 laps; Joh.Nemechek, 1 time for 8 laps; C.Bell, 1 time for 6 laps; B.Rhodes, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: C.Bell, 4; K.Busch, 2; Joh.Nemechek, 2; M.Crafton, 1; K.Grala, 1; J.Sauter, 1.

Top 10 in Points: 1. C.Bell, 528; 2. J.Sauter, 510; 3. C.Briscoe, 470; 4. M.Crafton, 464; 5. Joh.Nemechek, 396; 6. B.Rhodes, 387; 7. R.Truex, 386; 8. G.Enfinger, 382; 9. N.Gragson, 345; 10. A.Cindric, 324.

LONG POND – Qualifying on the same day as the actual race is pretty common for most NASCAR lower-division events and local short-track runs.

Now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is trying it out.

For this weekend, Pocono Raceway has turned into a a two-day show instead of having traditional Cup qualifying on Friday preceeding the main event Sunday.

Instead, Pocono will feature something different on Sunday: Coors Light Pole Qualifying for Cup on the same day of the Overton’s 400.

The three-round, multi-vehicle format is set to roll off at 11:35 a.m. before the 3 p.m. start of the 400-mile event, following two practice sessions that came Saturday. Pit stall selection for Sunday’s race is based off last week’s qualifying results, giving Brickyard 400 pole-sitter Kyle Busch the No. 1 stall.

2012 Cup champ Brad Keselowski is no stranger to the short turn-around, as he did it in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series.

“It does put a lot on one day…to be able to qualify and race,” Keselowski said. “I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of sponsor commitments in between. All in all, you’re gaining a day back, Thursday or Friday, it might be able to offset those loads. To me it’s net-neutral. So I’ll guess we’ll see when we get a few more of these under our belts and how that goes.”

“I haven’t formed much of an opinion yet because I’d like to get a few under my belt.”

Bell Rings In Pocono Truck Win

Christopher Bell battled with John Hunter Nemechek in the closing stages of Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

The two ran side-by-side for several laps until Bell cleared Nemechek in Turn 3 with five laps to go and drove away from Ben Rhodes for his first Pocono victory.

“I looked up in my mirror and whenever we’d get side-by-side, we were just bringing those guys behind with us,” Bell said. “I just kept trying to figure where I was going to beat him at and thankfully, I shoved my nose where he didn’t get to the bottom of the Tunnel Turn and then it screwed up his exit off of Turn 2.”

Cup driver Kyle Busch led 32 laps and won the first two stages until Friday’s ARCA winner Justin Haley tagged Busch’s No. 51 Cessna Toyota on lap 37, ending any shot at the win for the 2015 Cup champ.

Most passes during the 60-lap race were made within a few laps after restarts as track position was king in the Overton’s 150.

Bell leaves Pocono with the points lead until the next Truck race at Michigan Int’l Speedway on August 12.

Christopher Bell celebrates after winning Saturday’s Trucks Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/web1_Pocono-Trucks-CMYK.jpgChristopher Bell celebrates after winning Saturday’s Trucks Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Matt Slocum | AP photo

By Kyle Magda

For Times Leader

Camping World Truck

Overton’s 150

At Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, Pa.

Lap length: 2.5 miles

1. (3) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 60.

2. (1) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 60.

3. (4) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 60.

4. (6) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 60.

5. (7) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 60.

6. (9) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 60.

7. (17) Austin Cindric, Ford, 60.

8. (13) Cody Coughlin, Toyota, 60.

9. (5) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 60.

10. (14) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 60.

11. (10) Austin Hill, Ford, 60.

12. (15) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 60.

13. (12) Grant Enfinger, Toyota, 60.

14. (16) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 60.

15. (30) Justin Fontaine, Toyota, 60.

16. (21) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 60.

17. (18) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 60.

18. (28) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 60.

19. (20) Todd Peck, Chevrolet, 60.

20. (22) Wendell Chavous, Chevrolet, 59.

21. (24) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 59.

22. (27) Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, 56.

23. (11) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, Accident, 42.

24. (8) Noah Gragson, Toyota, Accident, 39.

25. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Accident, 36.

26. (25) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, Vibration, 23.

27. (19) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 6.

28. (23) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Electrical, 4.

29. (26) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Vibration, 3.

30. (29) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Steering, 2.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 121.594 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hour, 14 Minutes, 1 Second. Margin of Victory: 1.964 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 15 laps.

Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Rhodes 0; K.Busch 1-32; J.Sauter 33-44; Joh.Nemechek 45-53; C.Bell 54-60.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): K.Busch, 1 time for 31 laps; J.Sauter, 1 time for 11 laps; Joh.Nemechek, 1 time for 8 laps; C.Bell, 1 time for 6 laps; B.Rhodes, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: C.Bell, 4; K.Busch, 2; Joh.Nemechek, 2; M.Crafton, 1; K.Grala, 1; J.Sauter, 1.

Top 10 in Points: 1. C.Bell, 528; 2. J.Sauter, 510; 3. C.Briscoe, 470; 4. M.Crafton, 464; 5. Joh.Nemechek, 396; 6. B.Rhodes, 387; 7. R.Truex, 386; 8. G.Enfinger, 382; 9. N.Gragson, 345; 10. A.Cindric, 324.

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